Archive for the ‘Olympia Harbor Days’ Category

Olympia Harbor Days 2014

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Even a monsoon couldn’t dampen this years Harbor Days festivities.  Friday was a beautiful day and most boats were on the dock at Percival Landing by friday morning.  Rex and Tana Hasart on RW Confer hosted the RTA potluck on Friday night and everyone had a great time catching up with friends on the back deck.



One of the highlights of the weekend was the arrival of Bob Peck’s new tugboat, Kathy M.  Here’s a little video of Kathy M and Smitty J  with the added bonus of the steam launch Folly. I think the Kathy M was the most coveted boat on the dock.

Saturday started out cloudy, there was a monsoon in the early afternoon and then it cleared up nicely by late afternoon.  But even the damp day didn’t discourage folks from coming down to look at the boats.  Saturday morning also brought a new tug to the docks, Shannon (ex Shannon Foss, Judi M) came down for Harbor Days.  She’s a great looking tug and I loved the engineers seat in the engine room.

We certainly hope Capt. Cindy Stahl and crew make it down again next year. In fact Shannon was given the Spiffy award for being the neatest and classiest boat.  

Saturday night was the Skippers dinner, always a good time for captains and crews.  Bob Peck gave out the Harbor Days plaques to all participating boats and there was a drawing for a $150 fuel gift card.  Snee Oosh (Dunlap towing) was the lucky tug in the drawing.  The Lucky Eagle Casino not only catered the dinner, but also gave away free stays at their hotel at each table.  Karla Fowler, who does the great logo boat artwork, was honored for all her years of Harbor Days artwork and there was a small display of her art at the dinner.  A very sweet example of this years logo boat artwork (Reliable) is presented at the dinner in the form of a cake for desert.

Sunday was race day. All the tugs paraded out led by a couple of the visiting Lord Nelson Victory tugs that were in for one of their rendezvous.  Pet Tug acted as the start line and Thistle Dew ( a member of the RTA for many years) once again acted as the finish line boat.

Here are the race results……

Small Craft  

Mary Anne      13:04

Sandman         13:30

Joe                    13:32

Atka                  15:19


Under 400 hp

Reliable          10:08

Snee Oosh      10:32

Teal                  11:04

Thea Belle       12:39


Over 400 hp

Galene              7:11

Shannon          7:54

RW Confer      9:12


We had a bit of a snafu with the start broadcast for the race though, many tugs could not get the race channel on their radios, so only knew that the race was starting when one of the other tugs would begin racing.  It seems there are two channel 20′s and the one they were using for the race was not always available on older VHF sets.  On Galene there are three VHF units and one handheld, luckily the handheld unit was able to receive the race broadcast.

Back on the dock the winning skippers were congratulated and  Bob Peck, Harbor Days Harbormaster handed out the winning  trophies on the back deck of Galene.   


For more photos and videos of this years Harbor Days, check out the RTA Facebook page.   It’s a public page so you do not have to have a Facebook account to see the page.  



Another Great Harbor Days in Olympia

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The Harbor Days folks did a great job with this years event.  The weather couldn’t have been better, sunny and warm.  There were lots of people touring tugs, wandering through the art festival and checking out all the great food vendors.  The Retired Tug Association was well represented, tugs RW Confer, Joe, Parthia, Thea Belle, Reliable, Atka and Galene all making the cruise down to Olympia to share their tugs with the public. There were working tugs and retired tugs, Manke tugs sent down the Danielle and Dunlap towing was represented by the Port Susan.  The Comanche, a retired 1944 navy ATA tug was a popular stop on the tug tour, they had over 4,000 people aboard during the holiday weekend.





A big thank you to Marty and Skip (tug Galene) for once again graciously volunteering to host our traditional Friday evening RTA potluck.  Galene was this years logo boat and a big draw during the festival.  1,906 people came aboard to tour the 1943 WWII Army tug on Saturday.  There were two celebrities on board, Stan Wood who served aboard Galene during WWII as a deckhand and Lenny Lekanoff, Engineer and deckhand on the Wizard, one of the crab boats on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Lenny was joined on Saturday by greenhorn deck hands Roger and Robbie Schlosstein.  The three Wizard crew signed autographs and posed for photos on the back deck of the Galene.

The Skippers Dinner at the Olympia Yacht Club on Saturday night is always a good time.  Lucky Eagle Casino always puts on a good spread with a Salmon dinner and Galene Cake for desert.

On Sunday all the tugs headed out for the races.  There were three classes, small, medium and large (they have a way of sorting them, has to do with engine size as well as tug size).  Galene, Danielle and RW Confer ran the first race in the large tug category.  It was an exciting race with the RW Confer getting a bit too close to the Galene’s bow wake and shipping a little bit of water onto their back deck.  Confer turned back to pick up their chairs and coolers so was DNF, Danielle came in second and Galene won. The Confer recovered all their gear and the skipper and crew had a great attitude, the back deck is now squeaky clean courtesy of the Galene deck washing service.

The second race was Reliable, Thea Belle, Port Susan and Parthia.   Port Susan won, it helps to start at the right marker.  The small tugs were last with Joe, Atka, Mary Anne and Sand Man.  Little Mary Anne was the winner, she’s hiding quite the power plant inside that little tug.

Thanks to everyone who sent me photos, especially Jon Kent for the Confer photo and David Bowen for the photo of Lenny and Stan.  More photos of the weekend can be seen in our photo gallery.

Olympia Harbor Days RTA Potluck

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

It’s Harbor Days this weekend and time for our traditional Harbor Days RTA member potluck.  The potluck will be held Friday night at 6 pm on tug Galene, please bring a dish to share.   A big thank you to Skip and Marty Suttmeier for once again graciously volunteering to host the potluck.

Olympia Harbor Days!!!!

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Harbor Days is coming up fast, Labor Day weekend is less than 4 weeks away .  This is the biggest tug event on the west coast. If you’re a fan of old wood and steel tugs, this is the place.  Saturday is the best day for touring tugs, Sunday is race day. Most tugs are open for tours, from the pilot house to the engine room.  Skippers are delighted to answer questions and talk tugs.  If you’re a tug skipper it’s not too late to register, just go to the Harbor Days website and fill out the form.  Registration is free and includes  free moorage for the event, a  fleece vest and cap and  a wonderful catered salmon dinner on Saturday night for the skippers and their crew.  The Harbor Days folks go all out to make us all feel welcome.

This years logo boat is RTA’s own racing champion, Galene, one of only 3 remaining Miki class army tugs from WWII.  The artwork for the logo is really wonderful, Karla Fowler has once again done a fantastic job with the artwork and design.  Speaking about artwork, Harbor Days brings artists and craftspeople from around the Puget Sound to display during the festival.  There will be live entertainment and events for the kids, there’s something for everyone.

Olympia is centrally located and an easy drive from both the Seattle area and Portland.  So come up for the day or the weekend.

Congratulations Tug Galene!!!

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

From the folks at Olympia Harbor Days:

Please help us in congratulating the Galene owned by Skip and Marty Suttmeir. They are officially our logo boat for the 2013 Harbor Days Maritime Festival and Vintage Tugboat Races.

We greatly appreciate Skip and Marty and are honored they will be featured this year!

The festival is Labor Day weekend Aug 31- Sept. 1, 2013. Your registration can be downloaded anytime at or there is a copy attached.

Tracy, thank you again for organizing the retired tug email list.

We look forward to seeing you all!


Shelly Lively, Event Producer
local 360-556-0498
Harbor Days
PO Box 2351
Olympia, WA 98507

Harbor Days RTA Potluck

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Skip and Marty Suttmeier have graciously volunteered to host an RTA member potluck on board the Galene Friday evening during Olympia Harbor Days.   Tug Galene will provide lemonade, water and coffee.  Bring your favorite side dish, salad, entree or dessert.  Dinner starts at 6 pm.


Harbor Days 2011

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

The 2011 Harbor Days was a huge success.   The weather was gorgeous, and for once the tide was high enough all day so the ramps weren’t too steep and the air wasn’t too hot.

The newly rebuilt section of Percival Landing was very nice.   Those of us without boats especially enjoyed the Harbor House as a comfortable place for the information table and to sit and visit.

This was Nancy Sigafoos last year as festival coordinator.   At the dinner Robin Paterson presented her with a marine clock from the Retired Tugboat Association with a plaque thanking her for her years of service.    Shelley Lively, the new coordinator, was introduced.

The races went well.   There were no problems and one close finish where is took the finish line camera to tell us that Reliance beat Parthia by half a length.   There were no accidents or near misses, and it was great to watch the boats run.     The heats are as follows:
Heat 1:   This heat started at the second marker so ran a slightly shorter course.
Maggie B.    11:17
Joe                11:43
Thea Belle
Robin            Did not run
Atka              Did not run
Heat 2:
Reliance             9:28
Parthia                9:30
Creosote             9:34
Cayou                 9:42
Reliable            10:19
Snee Oosh        10:51
Wallace Foss    11:03
Fox                   11:30
Sandman          Backed off to avoid roll
Heat 3:
Galene           7:48
Holly Ann     9:10
RW Confer    9:30
It was a great turnout of Retired Tugboat Association boats.

We look forward to the October 1&2 gathering at Dockton.    Remember the Saturday late afternoon potluck.


Thanks to Kae for this nice write up of the Harbor Days weekend.

Tug Race Results

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


Race 1

1. Maggie B
2. Joe
3. Skillful
4. Thea Belle

Race 2

1. Reliance
2. Parthia
3. Creosote
4. Cayou
5. Reliable
6. Snee-Oosh
7. Wallace Foss
8. Sand Man

Race 3

1. Galene
2. Holly Ann
3. R.W. Confer

Harbor Days Tug Races Photo Gallery

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Great photos by Olympian Staff photographer Steve Bloom

Harbor Days Info

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Ahoy, all!

A quick reminder that OLYMPIA HARBOR DAYS is coming up this weekend!!
  • Potluck aboard the Galene, 4pm on Friday (2 Sept).  If you’re planning on being there, please let Skip & Marty know (  As usual, there will be a brief “business meeting” after the potluck.  One item on the agenda is a vote on whether the club should sponsor an inscription on the new Percival Landing Railing in Olympia.  If you have ideas on this or other business, but won’t be able to be at the potluck, please email, and we’ll include your thoughts.
  • Skippers: If you are bringing a boat to Olympia and have an RTA burgee, please consider flying it!  We’d like to get as many flags up as possible for photos!  Thanks.
  • Boats that will be at Harbor Days:
Atka 1970
Cayou 1952
Cedar King 1970
Creosote 1921
Fox 1943
Galene 1943
Holly Ann 1961
Ibis 1935
Isswat 1948
Joe 1942
Maggie B 1961
Parthia 1906
R. W. Confer 1930
Reliable 1945
Reliance 1909
Sand Man    1910
Skillful 1959
Smitty J 2004
Teal 1949
Thea Belle 1941
Thistle Dew 1986
Wallace Foss 1897
…Just had word from the Comanche that they will not be there: “Sad to say COMANCHE will not make Harbor Days this year due to failure of the main steering motor last night… just as we were docking back home in Tacoma, too!  Hope you all have great fun!”  Wish them luck sorting out the steering motor!
And, Dee Meek with the ELMORE sends his greetings, but won’t be able to bring the boat to Olympia.  If you didn’t see his message on our discussion email list,, they are just finishing over 6 months of major repair work.  Glad to hear it’s coming along well, Dee!  He will have the ELMORE at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, Sept 9-11 (their web site:  It looks like there will be a couple of work boats/fish boats attending, also!
Speaking of flags, if you would like one, please contact Kae (, who has the price list.